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A printmaker's progress


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Tuesday Tales – The Art of The Selfie


Chia, 1

Chia, 1

Selfie has been named Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2013. It seems the rest of the world has caught on to a practise used by artists for centuries. However while the modern selfie is often a quick snapshot done to document or share a moment or event with others, often online, the traditional artist self portrait usually carries greater meaning and symbolism.

I have created numerous self portraits throughout the years, mostly as photopolymer gravure etchings based on photographs. Some of these photographs were taken by others, while others I shot myself. For the next few weeks I will be sharing some of these “selfies” with the idea and hope of starting a dialogue about the intent, meaning and value of self portraits.

The piece above is an early self portrait. I shot the picture myself while sitting around in my studio during a studio tour. I had brought my camera that day to shoot the artwork in the studio, and during a quite moment I decided to shoot some selfies. I particularly liked this one for the fact that it doesn’t appear to be a selfie. The pose is relaxed, I am looking away from the camera and it is cropped enough so that you can’t tell I am holding up a camera. As a self portrait it exudes a certain confidence and gravitas that I decided would be fitting as my gravatar for the numerous websites I post on (including this one). I have also used it for my business cards. Being an image of an artwork, it is a true gravatar, for it describes the work I do as a printmaker.

I included the piece above in my first solo show, In Her Eyes. Later I  reworked it into a multilayered piece, which I called Gravatar. This piece won an Honorable Mention at the Sooke fine Art Show in 2010. I reworked the piece again, calling it Gravatar 2, for my show Mirror, Mirror. The image is repeated several times in this piece to allude to its multiple use online, and snippets of online communications from my Facebook page, blog and twitter accounts are included to further illustrate the use of this gravatar.

Gravatar, 2

Gravatar, 2

I used the same image a third time for a show in July 2012 at IndexG in Toronto. The piece, shown below, and the concept for its use in that show is described here. This time I called it simply Her.

Her, sideview B

Her, sideview B

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Her, side view a

Her, side view a

While creating this print I made a second one using embelishments on the ghost imagery of the first print. That print is below, titled Chia 2. It is my favorite though probably not my last of this series.

Chia, 2

Chia, 2

Chia, an 8″x10″ photopolymer gravure etching on 15″x 20″ paper, is offered this week at $200, unframed.
Gravatar 2, a mixed media monoprint on 22″x30″ paper, is offered this week at $400, unframed.
Her, a photopolymer gravure etching measuring 2″x4″x1.5″ on board, is offered this week at $100.
Chia 2, an 8″x10″ photopolymer gravure etching on 10″x 11″ paper, is offered this week at $200, unframed.
To purchase or for further info please email me at chiarina@chiarina.com.

It can be said that any work of art is a self portrait for the artist invests a great deal of himself in his work. Would you agree?

If you have ever created a self portrait would you like to share it here and describe what it means to you?

What famous artist self portraits do you most admire?


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Tuesday Tales – Dream Lover


Dream Lover

Dream Lover

Paris’ Musée d’Orsay’s exhibition, Masculine/Masculine. The Nude man in Art from 1800 to the Present Day, continues until January 12, after a three month run. A detailed description of the show, including many images and an intriguing video, can be found here.

While the male nude has been a common subject in sculpture and painting throughout the centuries, an entire show of male nudes is quite an uncommon event. I would have liked to see the show for that reason alone, although seeing the vast number and variety of artworks on display, grouped thematically, would have been a wonderful visual feast.

In keeping with this theme, I offer today a male nude of my own, a piece I produced for my solo show In Her Eyes. The title, Dream Lover, can refer either to the figure as the object of desire, or the sleeping man’s own dreaming desires. The light on his body is cool and natural, inferring daylight, yet he is at rest. Is he resting before or after some tryst? Or is he dreaming of one? The viewer decides. Whether in his mind or in reality, the feeling is one of warmth and contentment. A detailed view is below.

Dream Lover, detail

Dream Lover, detail

Dream Lover, an 8″x10″ photo etching on 15″x20″ paper, is offered this week for $200, unframed. To purchase or for further info contact me a chiarina@chiarina.com.


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Music Mondays – I’m In Love


This song was all over the airwaves last year while I was holidaying in Italy. It’s a bit of European fluff with a silly video but the tune was so catchy we found ourselves singing and dancing to it all the time. As I prepare for a New Zealand adventure I’m wondering what new music I will discover there that doesn’t get heard here.

I’m In Love by Ola